dutch_bantam_chicken1. Dutch
Weight: One Pound
This bird has been given the nickname the “Littlest Bantam” and by its weight it is no surprise. These birds were developed in the Netherlands and it is likely their ancestors were from East Indies stock. They were introduced into North America after World War II but declined until their re-introduction in the 70’s and 80’s. They are a poor layer of tiny, lightly tinted eggs, however they are wonderful mothers, hardy birds and slow to mature. The roosters, however, are quite dangerous.

2. Belgian D’Anver
Weight: 1.3 lbs.
This true Bantam was developed in the Anver region of Belgium. There is a rumpless version called a De Grubbe and they are often referred to as the Quail Bantam as that is the most popular variety. They are a poor layer of very tiny eggs, but very robust and active. Roosters tend to be aggressive and some owners report difficulty rearing the chicks.

3. Belgian D’uccle
Weight: 1.3 lbs.
Another true Bantam, this breed was started in Uccle, Belgium before 1900. They were breeded by Michel Van Gelder and are often referred to as the Mille Fleur which is the most popular variety. They are poor layers of teeny tiny white eggs. They are very hardy but not suited for foul weather as they are a fancy bird. Slow maturing, the hens tend to be broody. Roosters are less aggressive than other birds of similar size.

4. Booted or Sabelpoot
Weight: 1.4 lbs.
This breed was developed in the Netherlands and is so old it is difficult to get an age or location of origin. They come in 8 different colors and are very, very rare. A truly poor layer, they lay a white egg often less than once a week, but are a hardy bird. They are annoyingly frequent brooders with arrogant and aggressive roosters.

5. Appenzeller
Weight: 4 lbs.
This bird comes in two varieties, the Spitzhauben which is rare enough but the Barthuhner which is virtually unheard of. Both were developed in Swizterland and are believed to have been named for the lace bonnets in the Appenzeller region of that same country. They are a fair layer of average sized eggs with a unique V-shaped comb. They are very cold hardy but may have trouble with crest feathers freezing. They are early maturing, and had to be confined as they love to fly.

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